Feast Day: September 25
Born: (around) 1315 :: Died: 1392
St. Sergius was born near Rostov in Russia and was given the name of Bartholomew when he was baptized. He was not as bright as his two brothers, but he did learn to read and write. This made him really happy because he wanted so much to read the Bible.
Bartholomew's parents were very rich but when he was still a boy, the family had to flee from enemies and lost all their wealth. They had to go to work as peasants.
After his parents died, Bartholomew and his brother Stephen went off to live as hermits. They built a little church from trees they had cut down. The church was dedicated to the Most Holy Trinity.
When his brother went to Moscow to enter a monastery, Bartholomew lived alone. He wore the habit of a monk and took the name Sergius.
He was a tall, husky young man. He was strong enough to stand the biting cold and fierce winds of his forest home. He was happy praying to God and loving him with all his heart. He called fire and light his companions, and even made friends with bears.
Soon, other young men came to share St. Sergius's holy life and he started the Holy Trinity monastery for them. He was ordained a priest and ruled his monastery very wisely.
Once when some of the monks together with his own brother Stephen-who had come back - disagreed with Sergius about his strict rules, he went away to live as a hermit again so as to keep peace.
Four years later, he was asked to return. The monks were so happy to see him that they kissed his hands, his feet and even his robe. Powerful rulers often went to ask St. Sergius for advice.
He became so famous that he was asked to become bishop of the greatest Russian diocese in Moscow. But he was too humble to accept.
The prince of Moscow was not sure if he should try to fight the terrible pagan Tartars. St. Sergius said, "Do not fear, sir. Go forward with faith against the foe. God will be with you." And the Russians were victorious.
It was not great learning that made people trust and love St. Sergius. It was his confidence in God and his desire to help everybody. St. Sergius died in 1392.
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